Reusable rockets for affordable, responsive, and sustainable orbital launch

Reusable rockets for affordable, responsive, and sustainable orbital launch

Astron Systems, founded in 2021, are creating fully reusable rockets for more affordable, responsive, and sustainable orbital launch of small satellites.


There has been a steady march of miniaturisation of technology, an example being the smartphone in your pocket. The same trend in the space sector means that satellites are becoming much smaller and simpler for a large and growing number of space missions.

Despite satellites becoming smaller and lighter, operators still pay a considerable price premium to get them into space, especially when using existing dedicated small launchers.

Launches currently need to be booked far in advance, often at least 18 months, and delays to launch timescales are commonplace, which slows down growth and new product launches and can create financial pressures for companies.

Many launch options also create a significant carbon footprint, which makes it difficult for satellite operators to achieve sustainable or net-zero operations.

Astron Systems is developing its fully reusable Aurora launch vehicle, which aims to:

  • Spread the cost of manufacturing, assembling, and qualifying for flight vehicle hardware over 10s of flights, reducing the per flight cost.
  • Enable highly responsive and flexible launch scheduling with short notice.
  • Enable a net-zero carbon launch option.
Recent hardware testing (of key component of part of the propulsion system within the pumps)


  • Funding of €50,000 
  • One-on-one business advice, including investment readiness training and pitch coaching 
  • Technical support and expertise from STFC 
  • Networking opportunities across Harwell Science and Innovation Campus 

The Benefits:

Astron Systems was supported by the ESA BIC UK, based at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, their incubation began in June 2022 and recently graduated the programme, in March 2024. Over 21 months, the ESA BIC UK has helped the company develop key components of the Aurora launch vehicle and business model.

Astron Systems worked with ESA BIC UK’s Investor Readiness Program, resulting in successfully raising private equity funding into the business. Astron Systems is supported by a mixture of both private capital and grant funding and was recognized by Hello Tomorrow as one of the Deep Tech Pioneers of 2023.

The ESA BIC UK also helped Astron Systems to develop proof-of-concept hardware within the innovative, highly reusable propulsion system, which is core to the success of the fully reusable Aurora launch vehicle.

The ESA BIC UK has also supported Astron Systems to formulate a robust IP strategy and apply to patent key technology.

“The R&D funding and support provided by the ESA BIC UK has been instrumental in our journey as a business. The R&D funding helped directly fund the development of key proof-of-concept hardware, and the excellent support on offer helped us formulate our IP strategy, apply to patent our technology, and helped us to successfully raise private funding.”

Eddie Brown, CEO, Astron Systems